I have seen the future of the System i, and it's very bright—-and a little bit scary.
I speak every year at iSeries DevCon, and every year I try to get to the keynote address because I never know what I'm going to hear, but I know it will be interesting. This year in particular I'm glad I made it, because Mike Smith, IBM Distinguished Engineer and i5/OS Chief Architect, gave a presentation on what can only be called the future of IT in System i terms.
As I listened to him, it became clear to me that far from abandoning the System i, IBM has instead positioned it to become the central platform for IT in as wide a range of shops as you can imagine. I've also gleaned a few other things from reading and talking to people, and it's clear that the System i is probably the premiere platform to be on, especially in business applications. At the same time, it's just as clear that the System i is going to change and IBM's vision of its future is starting to really come into focus.